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A golden retriever paddles in the North Saskatchewan River Thursday morning prior to its rescue by fire crews. ((CBC))

A golden retriever was rescued from the North Saskatchewan River in Edmonton Thursday after he broke through thin ice.

The dog went through the ice near the river valley trail below the Riverdale neighbourhood while out for a walk around 10 a.m.

The dog, named Skipper, paddled in the open, frigid river while his female owner repeatedly cried out its name.

Edmonton firefighters used one of the department's new inflatable "banana boats" to get to the dog and pull it to safety. He is expected to fully recover.

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Edmonton firefighters used a "banana boat" to reach the dog in the river. ((CBC))

People walking their dogs along the river trails need to be extra careful during spring break-up, said fire Capt. Gerrit Neulenkamp. 

"This time of year everybody should be staying away from the river," he said. "I understand people want to walk their pets and what not. But if they have their pets they should keep them on-leash especially this time of year with the ice being this bad."